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NASA Looking to Fill Special Role: Planetary Protection Officer, 9-year-Old Applies

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Tony Maples Photography


Last week, NASA posted a one-of-a-kind job opportunity. They’re looking for a Planetary Protection Officer, which says comes with 6-figure pay and high security clearance. Whoever fills this demanding role will “ensure alien life, or biological contamination, doesn’t make its way back in a spaceship.” In other words, they’ll keep humanity safe from aliens.

Obviously, a job like a Planetary Protection Officer will attract many applicants with vivid imaginations and an appreciation for science fiction (and, of course, keeping humanity safe). The job listing spoke to nine-year-old Jack in particular. The 4th grader made headlines and attracted the attention of NASA with his application for the job in which he handwrote his cover letter and signed it as a “Guardian of the Galaxy.” writes that NASA’s planetary science director, Jim Green, personally responded to Jack’s app, encouraging him to stick to his dream of working for NASA. “Our Planetary Protection Officer position is really cool and is very important work. It’s about protecting Earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon, asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the Solar System,” Green went on to explain.

Though it may sound like a job out of a science fiction movie, it’s a demanding role to fill.